Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Washington Prism on blogging

Washington Prism is a “weekly on-line journal of culture, politics and public affairs in Persian [and English], dedicated to bringing the news and views of concern from the United States and beyond to the Persian speaking countries and communities in an accurate, comprehensive and analytical manner.”

I was interviewed recently by Hamid Tehrani about my book The Blogging Revolution:

WP: Why did you choose to write about blogging and why these six countries?

AL: After the 9/11 terror attacks and the Iraq war, I was increasingly frustrated with the lack of non-Western voices in the media. It was if only Western “experts” were allowed to explain the terrible events in New York and Washington. Blogging became a necessity to gauge the moods, attitudes and opinions of the majority of the world; most of the Western media was simply failing in their responsibilities. The Iraq war proved this point even more so, when indigenous Iraqi voices were virtually invisible before the invasion, and remains so today.

I chose the six countries in the book – Egypt, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and China – because they are routinely referred to in the West as “enemies” or “allies” of Washington and we were rarely gaining true insights into life for average citizens, away from stories about “terrorism.” I wanted to talk to bloggers, writers, dissidents, politicians and citizens and hear their stories, removed from “official” perspectives.

WP: You write in your book that western media does not reflect the whole picture of these countries, do you think blogs are helpful? Does limited access by western people to English written blogs by Iranians or Syrians create another biased source of information?

AL: Blogs have become an essential addition to understanding the non-Western world. It’s important to remember that bloggers are often middle-class and not representative of the society as a whole, though they’re more insightful than state run, propaganda-producing media. It is therefore essential that we also read blogs in the original languages, in translation if necessary, and not simply rely on bloggers writing in English.

WP: Was there any radical difference between the Iran that you had in mind and the Iran you visited?

AL: I imagined Iran would be a restrictive society, but was pleasantly surprised how vibrant it was beneath the surface. The years of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have undoubtedly been brutal on dissidents, women, journalists, writers and activists. Free thought isn’t something celebrated at this current time in the Islamic Republic. But despite these restrictions, I found both men and women willing to defy the authorities and speak, blog and party like in any other Western society. The vast separation between public and private spaces was something to behold.

WP: In Iran you say you met moderate Islamists and you add such a term is unknown to the western media. Why?

AL: 9/11 has caused the vast majority of the Western political and media elite to demonise Islamism. It’s a grave mistake, however. Across the Arab world, and Iran, moderate Islamists are growing in strength and influence and we ignore them at our peril. Western human rights group shouldn’t be afraid to campaign for imprisoned Islamists (as we’ve seen in Egypt.) Not every Islamist hates the West and shares the views of Osama Bin Laden. Quite the opposite, in fact. Western media discourse is so unsophisticated, and willing to take its implicit cues from the US State Department, that only Washington-approved “dictators” need apply for approval in much of the Western press.

WP: You wrote that while you were walking in the streets of Syria you felt a real difference comparing to Iranian or Egyptian streets. Why?

AL: The streets of Iran, though bustling, feel oppressive. I was there in the middle of summer in 2007, so this probably didn’t help. I loved the sight of women pushing the envelope against the religious authorities by wearing the headscarf far down their heads and applying extravagant make-up. Stylish men, wearing lashings of hair gels, looked like characters from the film Grease.

In Egypt and Syria, it is possible to see a greater openness on the streets, though both states are one-party dictatorships.

Hamid Tehrani resides in Europe and is a contributor to Washington Prism

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